“New York City is at an inflection point,” said Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell on the occasion of his nomination to the City Planning Commission (CPC). Nominated by Mayor Eric Adams and confirmed by the City Council, Dean Crowell will serve the remainder of a five-year term while continuing his work leading New York Law School. Previously, Dean Crowell served as a member of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board—the City’s ethics board—among his many other civic engagements.
An inflection point is an apt characterization as the City faces unprecedented challenges, and one that requires a quick and strategic response. Dean Crowell says: “I care deeply about making our City affordable and accessible to those who need homes and jobs. And I care deeply about making our City more livable, safe, and healthy.” That’s why, he says, “[i]t is essential for those charged with making land use decisions in our City to come together to address the affordable housing, homelessness, and global climate crises. We must bridge divides, work collaboratively and creatively across government to inspire innovative and meaningful opportunities to trigger affordable housing development, spur local business growth, reduce carbon emissions, and build our tax base. This means implementing land use and other policies to make New York competitive to attract businesses (large and small) and residents, both from inside and outside the City.”
Dean Crowell is ready to serve.
“My entire career as a lawyer and organizational leader has been in public service, building institutions, communities, and systems to better serve human needs and to advance justice.
Being asked to serve on the City Planning Commission is a tremendous privilege, and one I take very seriously,” he says. “I will use the experience and perspectives gained from serving New York City’s communities for 25 years to ensure we make proper and equitable planning decisions. We must give all New Yorkers, particularly those most in need, a chance to live and work in a healthy, safe, resilient, and affordable community, where businesses can thrive and provide meaningful and sustainable economic opportunities.”
Dean Crowell was appointed to the CPC alongside Gail Benjamin, former Director of the City Council’s Land Use Division. Sarah Carroll was confirmed to continue as Chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and Anokye Blissett and Elisa Velazquez were confirmed to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). “This group defines skill, knowhow, and a commitment to community engagement,” Mayor Adams said.
Dean Crowell has led NYLS since 2012. One of just a few law school deans who attended an evening law program—and the first member of his family to graduate college—Dean Crowell has worked tirelessly with the NYLS faculty to reimagine the curriculum, and to ensure social justice and economic opportunity are driving forces of the School’s work. He has spent decades serving New York City: Before joining NYLS, Dean Crowell served as Counselor to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. For more than a decade, he managed a broad and influential portfolio of work that cut across the government, including work that affected land use and built environment, municipal operations, civil rights and government access, libraries, and public ethics and integrity. Previously, he was an assistant corporation counsel in the New York City Law Department’s Real Property Tax & Condemnation and Legal Counsel Divisions, and in 2001, he served as counsel to the City’s Family Assistance Center, helping families of 9/11 victims. He directed the City’s World Trade Center Death Certificate Program, and worked on issues related to 9/11 recovery and rebuilding.
In his latest role serving the City, Dean Crowell is especially gratified by the opportunity to represent NYLS. In an email to his NYLS colleagues, he wrote, “While this is an honor for me personally, I am most proud that it is another way in which [our Law School’s faculty is] being called on to help shape the direction of our city at this difficult time.”
Work like this is central to the NYLS ethos—one of service, dedication, and community.